June 15, 2009

Michael Kinsley Vs. the National Anthem

In his typical contrarian way, Kinsley goes after the "Star Spangled Banner." It's a good essay, but then there's this nugget:

The Star-Spangled Banner" is notoriously unsingable. A professor of music, Caldwell Titcomb of Brandeis, pointed out years ago in the New Republic that its melody spans nearly two octaves, when most people are good for one octave, max.
There's a professor at my alma mater whose last name is Titcomb? And I made it through four years there, and nine years since, without ever hearing about this?

Posted by Stephen Silver at June 15, 2009 04:17 PM

It does say "years ago," so maybe he was gone by the time you got there?

Posted by: Jeremy at June 15, 2009 05:15 PM

"The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high that no one could reach it." --Angels in America

Posted by: BZ at June 17, 2009 12:34 AM
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